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race which have ever been dear to him; he looks up to Heaven, and there a Father's love is ready to bid him welcome. He closes his eyes, and enters peacefully on the “inheritance of the Saints in light.”
FLIGHT INTO EGYPT.
ΜATT. II. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews ? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship hiin. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea : for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda; for out of thee shall come a Governor that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and lo, the star which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshipped him; and when they had open
ed their treasures, they presented unto him gifts ; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream, that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt; and was there until the death of Herod ; that it might he fulfilled that which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
The Almighty operates by human means. The life of Jesus was precious in his sight, and he would not abandon it to the murderous attempts of Herod : yet did he use the ordinary instruments for its preservation. Joseph must arise at midnight, and undertake a long and toilsome journey, that | Jesus may be rescued. This should teach us, that the care of life and health is a duty with which we may not dispense. It is not enough to say that we leave these things in the hand of Providence. Providence has committed them to us, and we may not resign our trust.
But the flight into Egypt, though it tore from their home the husband and his recently wedded wife, and exposed them to toil and danger, had its consolations. They knew that the life of their child was dear to God; that his guardian care protected their way; and that, since he was near them, there was no cause for fear. Such is the faith of the Christian. He adopts indeed those measures which a wise prudence diotates for his own happiness and that of others; but he ever
feels, that in the use of these means he is surrounded and upheld by the Providence of God; that his heavenly Father beholds him in love, and will order all things, even those which may wear the aspect of calamity, for his final good.
Oh! lovely voices of the sky
Which hymn'd the Saviour's birth,
Ye that sang, “Peace on earth?'
Wherewith, in time gone by,
Oh! voices of the sky.
Oh! clear and shining light, whose beams
That hour heaven's glory shed,
And on the shepherd's head;
As in that holiest night
Oh! clear and shining light.
Oh! star which led to Him, whose love
Brought down man's ransom free,
May we still gaze on thee?
Thy rays earth may not dim;
Qh! star which led to Him,
VISIT TO THE TEMPLE.
LUKE 11. 40. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him. . Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem, after the custom of the feast; and when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem ; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey ; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance : and when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions; and all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
And when they saw him, they were amazed ; and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us ? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, how is it that ye sought me ? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the sayings which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth; and was subject unto them : but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man,